Archive for the 'Meetups' Category

St. Louis Bloggers Guild meeting Saturday, May 10th

     The Guild’s first open meeting will be held on Saturday, May 10th at 1 p.m. at Benton Park Cafe, who is generously hosting our meetings. They have fantastic coffees and I’ve eaten and loved everything on their menu.
     All members of the Guild are highly encouraged to attend this first meeting – please RSVP within either the comments or on the appropriate thread in the forums. The Guild will discuss its first big project slated for this fall, among other issues.
     The meeting is open to non-members for a $5 admission fee. If you’re considering joining, this would be a perfect opportunity to see what we’re all about. We’ll also be accepting and registering new members before and after the meeting.

     See the original post on St. Louis Bloggers Guild to confirm your attendance.

St. Louis Bloggers Rocked Atomic Cowboy

You can read more about the story on the St. Louis Bloggers’ Guild site, but I wanted to write a bit here as well.  I’ll be plugging more of the guild’s events and get togethers as well.

This party didn’t wait for your’s truly to show.  Bloggers had already snagged us the best corner in the place, right by the DJ.  Lights hadn’t even dimmed and folks were already getting into groups, with conversation flowing like water.

Raquita and I cornered Jason Wall at one end for a while, while Bill Streeter and Dana held court at the other end.  It was packed house as names you know and love in St. Louis blogging piled in.  Soon there were beers, and burgers and appetizers in the mix, and then it got loud.

As it got dark, the lighting of the place really kicked in.  Even the disco ball was lit up.  The noise and music picked up at the same and folks had to huddle close to be heard.  This made it seems even more like friends gathered together. Of course there were heated discussions, lazy chats, and plan hatching.  Rumors of future events were heard as well.

Me? I’ve picked up some new viewpoints on religion, photography, and video blogging. I’m sure other’s got some interesting tidbits as well.  And then there were cameras.

I’d brought mine and several others brought their’s. I know Rebeccas, Raquita, Jason, Dana, and more had cameras in hand.  Bill even snagged some shots with his iPhone.  We grabbed a couple of us manly man together as well.

Atomic Cowboy is a great venue for a get together, but the evening wasn’t without incident. One of our bloggers had their car broken in to.  A few things were stolen but thankfully no one was hurt.  The police showed up after the fact.  It really puts a damper on things.

To sum up, I had a great time, even being a wall flower sort myself.  I took a few photos, which you’ll see on my Flickr stream first but some will be here and a few over at St. Louis Bloggers Guild.

St. Louis Bloggers Guild – A Step Forward

Blog much? Well then you need to hear about this. St. Louis bloggers are joining together to form a first of it’s kind guild.  Writers have a guild, directors have guilds, so why not bloggers?

St. Louis Bloggers Guild is already drawing attention, with write ups in the local media, as well as a swarm of bloggers looking to join.  Why a guild? What’s it got to offer over something like a blog carnival or an online only blogging community?

The St. Louis bloggers Guild is not just about posting all on the same topic, or giving each other a pat on the back, though it can do that too.  It’s about informing, promoting, protecting, and yes, connecting.  Sound interesting yet?

The guild isn’t just about putting fingers to keys, and putting up the posts, it’s about forming a real community.  Not just faceless nicknames anymore, but folks you get to know in a real way.  There will be parties, conferences, blogging fests and more.  Yes even beer on occassion.  I mean heck, we are St. Louis, home of Budweieser!

St. Louis bloggers won’t be hemmed in either.  This isn’t about corralling folks and making them get in line.  It’s about a community hub, and it will take all types.  There’ll be blogs about St. Louis involved, and blogs about parenting, blogs about tech, and blogs about camping, even blogs about cupcakes.

So what’s stopping you from signing up today?  Hey, you can go visit the main page here, or go right to joining up here.

Want just a bit more incentive? How about joining several of us for a little mixer this Saturday night?  Yep, come meet some of us face to face and share a drink or an appetizer.  It’s a party at Atomic Cowboy in St. Louis.  The short story is be there at 6:30 PM. We’ll be the ones chatting it up and acting like bloggers.

Please come out and show your support or if you can’t make it, do drop by the guild website and visit.

See you around the net!

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Austin Tweetup – Live with Tojosan

Austin made me feel welcome in more ways than one.  Heck, they even named a store after my son, Randall’s.  Throughout the week folks were courteous and welcoming.

That and they kept apologizing for the weather.  Yes, when it’s below 70 something or the least bit clowdy, they think the weather is bad.  Heck, it was flooding in our neck of the woods when we left and cold too boot.

Austin brought Nanna J and I opportunities for dining experiences, cultural discoveries, and making new friends.  Simis, a photographer friend,  hosted us for the entire week. My favorite shot of her.

Serious Shooter

During our visit were were able to not just meet with Simis, but with several other contacts of mine from Twitter. We had lunch out with @Orchid8.

Sharing thoughts over lunch

We had breakfast with @mikeneumann:

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Dinner with Simis:

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And then a whole dang tweetup hosted by Kim Haynes.

Tweetups Rock!

Several folks turned out for the meetup and made us feel quite welcome. We didn’t just talk about Twitter either. No, we talked about blogging, social media, photography, and social networking. But beyond that, we had opportunity to talk about each other, Austin, and food. You know that last one is dear to my heart. Ha.

As you can see, just meeting folks was a busy week. I’ll have to do another post about the cultural stuff I guess. Expect a post just about the food as well.

For a visual recap of our week in Austin be sure to check out Flickr. I’ll be adding more pics to that set over the next several days.

In summary, the trip to Austin brought me closer to folks in my network than just being virtual friends.  We talked, we laughed, and we broke bread together.  Those are the makings of a lasting friendship.  Heck, in all the excitement, I made some new friends too and so did our friend Simis.

What are you doing with your next vacation? Seeing the Grand Canyon, or closing the loop with friends? Can you manage both like in our Austin trip?

St. Louis and Social Media

Social Media Club St. Louis held their first meeting. For me, it held some surprises.  Two of them stick out for me.  The main surprise was the attendance of several people working professionally with online media, including blogging. There were only a few of us in attendance that don’t make part of our living with our work online.  One gentleman even works for our local paper’s online segment.

My expectation that it would have been others with just an interest in social media or those that spend that have a small revenue stream from online activities. It’s exciting to see though the involvement in St. Louis of so many companies with a strong interest in things like blogs, and other social media and networking tools, such as Twitter. Mentioned in my earlier post though, very few of those in attendance were familiar with more than a couple of social media outlets personally.

This leads me to the second big surprise for this St. Louis crowd, what they considered their big social media and networking site. It wasn’t Facebook or MySpace that came out in front.  It wasn’t LinkedIn, though several people mentioned using it. StumbleUpon was the favorite online community.  Knowing St. Louis folks though, it shouldn’t be a surprise.

StumbleUpon is at first glance all about nominating links or stumbling them.  Essentially a StumbleUpon (SU) user can give a page a thumbs up that they like.  More visitors to that site that use SU can also vote it up.  This helps a page get noticed, because those that are added to the StumbleUpon database and get the most votes, will be ‘stumbled upon’ most often by StumbleUpon toolbar users.

So how does this factor in for St. Louis?  St. Louis is all about neighborhoods and tight net groups.  Behind SU’s toolbar and voting, it’s all about the small and interwoven community.  People can build personal blogs there, and even a sense of brand. The pages they recommend are seen by others in the groups they belong to on SU.  The social media types folks in St. Louis have really taken to that sense of close net community and sharing.  SU really provides a great way to share and focus that sharing upon your favorite sites about a place as well.  This helps create a whole group of users that really highlight blogs and websites of and about St. Louis.  A large part of that is a focus on the St. Louis local music scene.

Wrapping up the thoughts here, I really shouldn’t have been surprised about what I found at the Social Media Club gathering. It’s given me insight into what directions I should be moving in online and what tools people are finding the most community driven.

What about social media gurus and neophytes in your neighborhood? Do you know what online communities your neighbors use? Does it matter? Should you care?  Perhaps so if you really value your local area’s presence online.

St. Louis Blogging has a new home

Blog and live in or near St. Louis? Then there is a new group in town to check out, St. Louis Pro Bloggers. So what’s St. Louis Pro Bloggers all about?

“STL Pro Bloggers is part of the Midwest Blogs network. Through this city page you can find information about activities and events in St. Louis and connect with other St. Louis bloggers. Register and become a member today and have your blog indexed on the site!”

It’s already got a review of the most recent St. Louis Blogger Meetup, and the upcoming Lo-Fi Saint Louis Reset Party. Expect to find more events of interest to bloggers here as well. It doesn’t stop with just some unknown face behind the site either. St. Louis Pro Bloggers is inviting you to register and contribute as well. You can be invited to contribute new articles or republish some of your work there.

One of the benefits of such a site will be an increase in attention to blogging in St. Louis. It will also provide tips and event lead ins as well. And what better place to connect with fellow bloggers than a site dedicated to us.

I look forward to both providing event information and write ups on those events. How about you?

Come check out St. Louis Pro Bloggers today.

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Speaking of blogging. I’m headed to SOBCon08 in May.  They are having a contest and your clicks count. If you visit their site from anywhere on my blog, it counts as a vote for me. It’s that simple. Click through to SOBCon08 and you’ve already voted.

Thanks for those that have already voted. Check out the contest so far here.

Social Media Club St. Louis – 1st Meeting – Round Up

I walked in to Kaldi’s in Kirkwood and immediately found the group of clubbies. They were right inside the door and already chatting. Tables had been rounded up, chairs brought around and folks where already exchanging emails and blog links. My kind of people.

Soon a group of five turned to ten and then over a dozen were on hand. Relocating was not an option. As an aside, you could tell the regular coffee drinkers; they were quick to visit the counter and get seated back with their steaming cups.

Everyone there was involved in blogging in some way. I’ve linked there here, courtesy of Brandstorming. Note that only one blog link is provided for each person, though several of us have more than one blog.

Jim Durbin: Brandstorming.com
Franki Durbin: Life In A Venti Cup
Tanner Hobin: TannerHobin
Andrew Nagy: Andrewnagy.net
Kurt Greenbaum – stltoday.com/vstl
Kristen Munson – socialmediamom.com
Justin Schmidt – justinspeak.com
Lisa Young – jedimom.net
Melody Cissell – news-bitch.com
Reem Abeidoh – www.reemabeidoh.com
Don Krutewicz – donkrutewicz
Angeline Soon – twitter.com/s00nami
Ryan Suther
Howard McAuliffe- StlDevelops.com

A couple of these folks are becoming more than just acquaintances by now, but there rest were all new faces to me. Unfamiliar faces didn’t put a damper on the conversation though. It was nonstop talking from minute one and out to the cars. We did the typical go around the room bit, but that is not to discount it as of no value. Introducing ourselves really lead to more conversations and connections, and talks of investing in each other.

I mentioned in a post earlier today that I wasn’t sure what my take away for new contacts would be, but let me assure you, this group was all worthy of my attention. Each brought a different perspective and attitude to the table. (tables – 8 of them) It will be difficult to pass up adding all of these new faces and inputs to my daily feeds.

I don’t have my pictures up yet, but when I do, they’ll be at my Flickr account and tagged with smcstl.

Please check out the blogs above and give them some love. Also, let us know about your local social media club meetups.

Yours,

Todd

Contacts, Friends, and Meetups

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So I’m going today to the 1st meeting of Social Media Club St. Louis and I’m wondering if I should. Oh, not because it won’t be fun, or constructive, and not because I won’t make new contacts, but for just the opposite. I’m worried about making too many new contacts.

That’s right, too many. I’m quickly facing the point in my social networking and media relationships cycle where there are just too many folks to keep up with. Contacts galore, but you say, how many of them do you pay attention to. Too many and not enough.

I’m now following hundreds of contacts on Twitter, some on Utterz, and countless blogs via RSS. That’s not to mention messages and interaction on Facebook and other smaller spots. And today’s meetup is bound to bring me more cool folks to follow and interact with.

So what’s a guy to do? I’ve already talked about social networking contact issues here, here, and here. Still my conclusion is the cliche, less is more. How am I accomplishing this?

There isn’t really one answer for me, but here’s how I’m going to handle it today.

1) Give folks my almost universal ID – tojosan – good for Twitter, Utterz, and more social networking and media sites.

2) Give folks my blog information

3) Accept and note down their universal IDs and add them as contacts

4) Get their blog information – and subscribe on a trial basis

My expectations?

1) Two or three out of a dozen plus will become regular contacts

2) Two or three will have blogs of real interest to me

How do I feel about that? Just fine. Honestly, more of them would just be attention thieves from the others. Will I stop following the blogs? Maybe not, but they’ll be relegated to the weekly vs daily checks for sure. Since they are local, it might be hard to pass them up. The key criteria will be subject matter though. I’m very uninterested in political ranting, and much more interested in articles about restaurants, tech, and movies.

Will you be screening your new potential contacts? Or will you just keep adding anyone that you meet? Is it exclusionary to put off making contacts of folks that you aren’t interested in, if they are interested in following you? What’s your plan for your next meetup?

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Click here to help me win a free ride to SOBCon08. No registration or anything. Just click.

Thanks,

Todd

Have you been to a social media meetup?

Take my quick survey here.

You can see the results here.

Thanks.



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